As the world spirals into chaos amidst wars and bombing plots, I am trying to shift my focus from intrigues involving private military firms and other strange little companies, back to the larger scale issue of how to best manage information harvested from the Internet, and how to transform what one harvests into the most easily visualized format (this, using Google Earth and other tools), since we think better about what we can visualize.
This morning in a waiting room, I learned from (I think) Time magazine that we liberal bloggers have shirked the subject of the Israel-Lebanon war, and they were all ready to steer me to places that would explain why we'd turned tail. Well, gee. Just short of a month ago I did my part to try to portray in a map the destabilizing properties of Hezbollah's new weapons. And later did some other related graphics. This though I am not fascinated by war or the military or war-blogging. It being summer, I traveled for a while on a family vacation.
I look at the global situation now, and I see a dystopian world that was foreshadowed by the menacing rhetoric underlying Iran's military maneuvers a few months ago: the new Hezbollah arsenal and accompanying acctacks on Israel and the airline bombing plots were what was supposed to result from us putting a stop to Iran's nuclear program. Except we didn't put a stop to it. Not really. And the scenario is unfolding anyway. I made my contributions to war-blogging this one, but is this really a job for bloggers at all? Did my knowing this, recognizing this, as it unfolded save anyone's life? I doubt it.
So I'm going to try to shift focus to the tools that help people pick up the pieces and move on. If I can think of something to do to help in the meanwhile, I'll do it. But marveling at the wounded world so easily tips over into voyeurism; and I have no desire for a vicarious ride through Hell.
My adventures of the past year have taught me a lot about what good can be done with information and community available on the Internet. And for me, that seems the right direction to go.